Saturday, January 19, 2013

Early Morning Baptism

Last night I had the blessing of interviewing Lisa Rambalack for baptism.  She is the girlfriend of Jurmaine St Rose, a member of the branch.  
Lisa and Theresa St Rose
Jurmaine has been undergoing treatment for Hodgkins Lymphoma.  His last PET scan was clean, so he has two more treatments and then follow-up.  This has been a great blessing.  Last Sunday Juermaine said in his testimony that he is thankful to have had this cancer.  It has brought him to a point that he would not have arrived at otherwise.  It was a sweet and humble, powerful witness of God’s love for His children.  My tears would not stay inside my eyes.  Anyway, it was my blessing to visit with Lisa to give her the privilege of promising to be faithful and to keep the covenants of baptism that she would be taking today.  It was a sweet experience to pronounce that she is ready to be baptized into the Kingdom of God.

This morning we awoke at 0530, much earlier than usual.  We got up, dressed, drove to town to pick up our Elders Quorum President, Br Pollard, and his family.  They don’t have a car and they wanted to attend the baptism.  We drove back to the east to Baptism Bay.  It is really called Long Bay, but this is where our baptisms are held.  The wind was really blowing and the temperature was actually a little bit cool.  Maybe I am just getting acclimatized but it was in the middle 70’s and felt cool but wonderful.  We were the first ones there.  The Elders arrived next, but clear across the bay.  We were at the wrong end of the bay, but that was quickly corrected.

Others arrived in short order.  There was a good congregation to witness the baptism.  We sang a hymn, had a prayer, had a couple of short, good talks, witnessed the baptism, sang another hymn, had a closing prayer and left.  That is the quick summary.  Here are the details.

Lisa was baptized by Jurmaine.  She is about 5 feet tall in heels.  He is over 6 feet.  
Lisa and Jurmaine
They are a cute couple.  Lisa wore the smallest suit the elders had and it about drowned her.  No matter.  Jurmaine led her about 10 yards into the water.  It was up to his waist but much higher on her.  Elder Ivie and Elder Newman were out there as witnesses.  It is the only time the YFTM’s get to go into the ocean past the soles of their feet.  They all love to have baptisms!

When Jurmaine first put his foot into the water he looked back with a grin on his face.  Is it cold?  He nodded.  Lisa was the last to go in, and she went boldly but the coolness of the water was registering on her face.  
She was excited to be doing this, though.  Jurmaine pronounced the revealed prayer to be used at baptism, and Lisa was carried under the water and brought forth again, in symbolic representation of the death and resurrection of Jesus.  This represents the death of the old person and the birth of the new, a witness that old things are done away and all has become new.  It is because of the Atonement of Jesus that we can take this symbolic step of cleansing and rebirth. It was a sweet experience for all who attended. 
Lisa, Jurmaine, younger brother Jamoll
The wind died down and the sun came out.

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